Youth Bureau to establish membership system for community pool

Wickwire Pool. (Photo provided by the Cortland Youth Bureau).

The Cortland Youth Bureau (CYB) is establishing a membership system for Wickwire Pool to ensure safety and to provide enjoyment at the pool.

The Wickwire Pool membership is free and registration for a membership begins on March 1

According to CYB director Andrea Piedigrossi, there will be a one-time payment of $5 for a membership identification card and a lanyard. The payment will help cover the cost of the membership system, computer and card printer, Piedigrossi said.

Piedigrossi said children that are 10 years old or younger will not need individual ID cards. Children in that specific age group, however, will be included in an adult’s account while under their supervision at the pool, Piedigrossi added.

According to Piedigrossi, even with children in that age group part of an adult’s account, the one-time payment is still $5.

“It’s another way to ensure those kids are supervised at the pool,” Piedigrossi said. “It (was previously) a safety issue, so this will help that.”

Children between the ages of 11 and 18 will need an ID card, but also need a parent to sign a consent form. Individuals 18 years-or-older can sign up for an ID card on their own.

“We never had any way to gather information about who uses the pool. In the event of an emergency, there would be no contact information and there was no way for us to get a solid number in attendance,” Piedigrossi said. “This is also a way to hold those accountable for their actions when they’re misbehaving in the pool.”

The ID card will have a barcode, which the Youth Bureau can turn on and off if an individual is removed from the pool. CYB originally had a gate attendant with a clicker to keep track of the amount of attendants. Now, the gate attendant will keep track of the ID cards, Piedigrossi said.

The current capacity limit for Wickwire Pool is 175 people, which is based on the square-footage of the pool and the deck space. Piedigrossi said that if the pool is at capacity, the splash pad is another option.

“People are always in and out,” Piedigrossi said. “It’s very rare that there’s a wait to get in.”

Piedigrossi said that following a summer that included numerous trespass orders and other issues, she hopes the membership program will provide a better process of handling the pool.

“We hope that this will help if we have those issues this year,” Piedigrossi said. “We’ll have a better handle on being able to take those individuals who cause issues and turn the card off.”

If CYB has to turn off an ID card for access to the pool, the suspension is based on the severity of the issue.

Piedigrossi is asking for everyone’s patience as CYB makes the transition to the membership system.

“We know there’s going to be hiccups,” Piedigrossi said. “It’s the first year we’ve ever done this, but we ask that everybody has patience and work with us. We’re not doing this to create issues or keep you from the pool. We will work with you to enjoy the pool, but we need to get a better handle on this because we don’t want another summer like last year.”

To register for Wickwire Pool membership (starting on March 1), go to Individuals and families can then stop by the CYB office on 35 Port Watson St. in Cortland to create an ID card.

The Wickwire Pool is scheduled to open on June 22 this year, and the closing date is slated for Aug. 18. The pool will be open daily from noon to 7 p.m.

(Provided by Cortland Youth Bureau).